First jobs for teenagers – what to do and how to get the job!

If you’re a teen frantically searching for your first job to help you pay for cinema trips and meals out, this post is for you! On the other hand, if you’re a frustrated parent, wondering why your 16 year old is constantly glued to a gaming console, and desperately trying to introduce them into the real world, this advice might end up being just the thing you need. It can seem very daunting trying to help your teenager find their first job, but this selection of perfect first jobs for teenagers might help to ease the stress!

First jobs for teenagers – what to do and how to get the job!


Babysitting is a great first job for a teenager, and one that is easily found if you know where to look. First, think about any friends or relatives with younger children; it’s even better if you already know the kids. If not, never fear! Ask parents to pop a post in a local Facebook group, or school group, advertising you as a babysitter. Make sure to emphasise skills like communication, safety awareness, and leadership; if you’ve never had a job before, it can be difficult to prove these soft skills, so think of examples from school, or extra-curricular activities to pop on a CV. 

Babysitting is typically the first job most teenagers will do

This is a great first job for any teenager, but works particularly well for those aged around 15 or 16. It allows you to gain experience negotiating a pay rate, experiencing the working world for the first time, and gaining key skills like tolerance and initiative. Also, once you have excelled at entertaining the children, and put them to bed, you can quietly get on with some homework or revision, meaning that your first job doesn’t have to replace your studies!

This can be a good first job for teenage boys, so don’t let stereotypes put you off. A lot of parents are very happy to have a male babysitter for their children, especially if they don’t have a male role model at home. Be polite and enthusiastic when you make contact, and you might find that kids love you!

Paper round

A paper round can be a great first job for teenagers; the time is easily manageable, and it can be quite enjoyable if you’re a fan of walking or cycling, or listening to podcasts or audiobooks. Contact your local magazine or newsagent to see if they are hiring any new employees, or keep track of leaflets/free magazines that come through your door, and enquire at these companies for any vacancies. This job varies from company to company, but largely, you are able to follow the route given, drop off your papers, and have a listen to some music or a podcast on your way round. 

If you don’t mind a long walk every now and then, and want to gain experience in time management, responsibility, and independent work, a paper round might be the ideal first job for you!


Tutoring is a popular first job for teenagers, as it allows you to recap content whilst earning money! For local tutoring, I would recommend posting in a local parent or school Facebook group, or making an inquiry at your own school to see if they offer a student tutoring programme. You can also sign up to online tutoring services. This job works incredibly well for A-level students if you can prove great communication skills, and high academic achievement in your application. It is best if you try and take a tutoring position in a subject you are interested in, have achieved highly in, and you feel comfortable explaining to others, as this will make you a great and engaging tutor. 

This is the perfect first job for teenagers who enjoy teaching others, and who knows? Maybe your first job could kick off a lifelong interest in teaching and learning. 

A job in retail 

Retail work is a common first job for teenagers aged around 16 or 17, as it provides perhaps a first real experience of contracted work for a company. Indeed is a great website to find local vacancies, but you can also pop into local shops and ask about hiring, which also works well as it shows initiative. What you will need for this is a well-crafted CV; it doesn’t need to include years of experience, but if you have a volunteering placement or experience in extra curricular leadership or teamwork, make sure you emphasise that. Keep the CV brief, and make it clear that you are very keen to learn on the job. 

Food service

Serving food in a restaurant or café is a great first job for teenagers if you like a fast pace at work

Food service works well as a first job for teenagers from about 16; it is a high pressure environment, but if you work well under pressure and enjoy a fast-paced atmosphere, it might be the perfect job for you! Similar to retail, apply via a website, or enquire at local restaurants and cafés. Make sure you emphasise experience working with others (you’ll have gained this in class, or on any team sports you play), and taking initiative on your CV, as this is what managers are looking for. 

If you’re struggling to get a foot in the door with restaurants in your town then why not try your local fish and chip shop? Fast food outlets tend to rely on young staff who can work flexible, short shifts, so this might be a good way to get some experience on your CV.


A little known, but great job for teenagers who are skilled at reading and writing is copywriting. If you have contacts within blogging, social media, or advertising, it is worth asking them if they ever need posts written for them for a small fee. Once you have proved competence, you will be able to apply for bigger jobs, and will also amass a portfolio of your ability as a writer. Applying for these tasks is a little trickier, as it tends to require contacts within certain industries, but you can also use websites like LinkedIn and freelance writing service websites to advertise. Try People Per Hour to get started, and once you have a few articles behind you you can up your price and apply for jobs listed on sites like Freelance Writing Jobs. Make sure you have some evidence of creative writing and/or SEO writing skills in order to stand the best chance!

Copywriting is a great way for creative teenagers to earn money

This is a great first job for teenagers, as it is accessible, not entirely time-consuming, and can get you a foot in the door with people within the writing industry!

Temp jobs for teenagers

The most effective way to start work as a teenager is by applying for temporary positions around Christmas and Summer holidays. During these periods, big companies tend to take on a large amount of staff to deal with increased demands, and this is where teenagers are most likely to be hired. You might ask the question – is it really worth taking a temporary job, or should I keep looking for a permanent one? The answer is yes, simply because if you work hard and perform well, a lot of organisations will either offer you a permanent job, or keep you in mind the next time a vacancy arises. 

Temporary jobs are great first jobs for teenagers, as they give you a taste of the working world, and if you wish, have the potential to lead to permanent placements. And who knows? A Chrismas Elf might be your vocation!

First jobs for teenagers is a featured post by Maddie Wills.

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